Best Friends and Favourite Foods

I am truly blessed when it comes to friends. I have some extra special best girlfriends who have been there for me through the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the youth and the wrinkles. Ria and I met at school, a wonderful convent in South London, and have been best friends ever since.

We laughed through our school days, she sent me stamps to write to her when I went to University as I was poor and she was earning. She also gave me a sewing box as a going away gift and still, to this day, gets me to adjust her clothes and sew on buttons. We even worked at the same company for a few years and mopped up the tears through tough endings to relationships in later years.

She invited me to a weekend with friends in Scotland without telling me we would be walking part of the West Highland Way. She knew I would have refused, but we had fun and I forgave her, eventually.  Then I told her she was doing a run to raise money for Charity and she didn´t complain once.

Hot, sweaty but very happy with what we achieved!

We know and love each other´s families like our own, and also know our way around each other´s kitchens. Very important indeed.

When we both hit 40 within a month of each other (not soooo long ago), we threw a massive party then went off on a Round the World Trip.  I have a lovely photo of us on our last day before we headed back to London. It was taken in Hong Kong on the Kowloon ferry. We don´t look glamorous, or made up. In fact we look exhausted, a little chilly, but happy. We had spent about 3 months in each other´s company 24/7 and not a cross word or row, just fun, laughter and quite a few adventures.

I moved to Spain permanently six years ago, and we had to find a new way to make things work across the miles.  E-mails, phone calls and of course, visits.

So, when your best buddy comes to visit you don´t want to spend too much time in the kitchen as there is talking, laughing, dog walking and wine drinking to be done.

We barbecued squid which we enjoyed in the sunshine.

We ate what we jokingly called a “deconstructed chicken salad sharing platter for friends” – cold cooked chicken, spiced cauliflower, a platter full of delicious vegetables and topped with blanched then grilled asparagus with a lemon dressing and mayonnaise. Perfect for sharing.

And of course, my best friend knows how much I adore curry, so several happy hours were spent in the kitchen cooking up a storm, or the “Cortijo Curry” as we called it. Goat curry, tarka dhal, spinach and tomato curry, poppadums and roti.

I´ll share the recipes with you soon, but now I´m tired, happy and sad, and rather full up, so I´ll leave you with a photo of the perfect dessert for friends who don´t have time to make dessert.


70 thoughts on “Best Friends and Favourite Foods

    1. I am lucky indeed! The cauliflower had been blanched and then we tossed it in olive oil, Maldon salt and crushed peppercorns and cumin seeds then placed it on a baking tray which then went onto the barbecue when we did the squid. You could do this in the oven or a frying pan too. We had some left over and decided that it was even nicer cold the next day in the salad!

  1. Your words shine through, your friendship is obviously very very special (I know what it’s like to go travelling for 3 months)! My bestie lives in Amsterdam so I know all about the texts, emails, calls, cards, and now the blog.. laughs….. It sounds like a super weekend. And I adore goat curry, just so you know I’m looking forward to the recipe 🙂

    1. It is a very special friendship – we´ve been through a lot together over the years! And it sounds like you know exactly how it is with your friend equally far away. Goat curry recipe to follow soon…promise!

  2. Such a lovely post T. Friendship is a very special gift. The food looks delicious.
    Regards Florence xx

  3. That is awesome and i love the shot of you two in the bus?.. you look so alike! How wonderful to have found such a friend for your lifetime.. Love the dessert by the way! c

    1. Thanks Celi – that shot was kind of on a bus. It was the shuttle ferry that runs between Kowloon and Hong Kong – we were only there about 3 days but we went backwards and forwards lots of times and that was our last journey! It was my kind of dessert 😉

  4. What a great post, Tanya, a celebration of friendship. You’re both blessed to have each other in your lives. Having gone on a few trips with my Traveling Companion, I can well imagine the fun you two had during your trip. And that was some dinner you two shared, too!

    1. Thanks John – if you can travel with someone and still be friends at the end of the trip, you know you´re going to be there for each other for a very long time!

  5. Tanya, I have a strong hunch you’re blessed with such good friends because you ARE one! Loved reading about this special connection you share that spans time and circumstances, includes traveling and story, laughter, wine and food! My hope for you in these coming days is that you’ll hold close every last lovely drop of your time spent together! We can wait on the recipes! (Thank you for sharing what you have!)

    1. Thank you for your lovely words Spree, I am indeed blessed with some wonderful friends who have got me through some dark days but have also been there to share the sunshine…lucky me!

    2. I think spree has hit the nail on the head! I have to say how beautiful you both look in these photos too. Who needs makeup when you are so happy and so blessed.

      1. Thank you so much Evie – I think a good dose of laughter and happiness does so much for you than a whole counter full of makeup!

  6. A lovely post Tanya! I always tell my two gals that life is much richer with a best girlfriend. And what two beautiful and lovely ladies you are!!

  7. Ahhhhh! Now look – you’ve made me cry! I’m lucky to have a best friend like you – let’s keep eating, drinking and laughing our way through life shall we? x

    1. No crying, that´s an order…unless they are happy tears! We did have fun didn´t we…and plenty more to come, we´ll be old biddies and still kicking up a storm 😉

  8. I can count the number of close friends like this that I have on one hand with fingers to spare, but I feel so lucky to have them. It is always a challenge to live far away from those we are close to, but you have found so many lovely ways to share time with your friend, and to share some of those moments with us. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Siobhan – the very close friends I have like this are also few, but incredibly special. I know we work hard from both sides to keep the friendship strong and it means we can share some very special times together!

  9. Your post and pictures made me smile! What a wonderful tribute to a great friendship. May you enjoy spending many more great times together and share many happy memories! And now, I want to be your friend and have some of that curry… 🙂

    1. Thank you for your lovely comment – I do indeed hope that we get to spend plenty more time together. Now…where´s that container to mail you some curry?!

  10. What a treasured friend.. I have a few of these and plan to keep them! I love that you know each other’s ways around your kitchens.. very important indeed! I hope it isn’t too long before you get to see each other again. It must have been so difficult to move away that first time! xo Smidge

  11. You see, that *is* a friend. Few are the people in life in whose company you could pass weeks at a time and not end up getting mildly irritated at best. I like people but darn if they don’t get on my nerves after a while. I’m lucky – my wife is one of those rare people I can happily spend every waking moment with and it’s nothing but fun. A good quality in a marriage – sadly… almost bizarrely I think… I meet people sometimes who don’t have this with their partner and then I wonder why they married in the first place if they can’t stand being alone with each other for more than an hour!

    1. I so agree with you Charles. I see couples who rarely seem to spend a moment together. And while it is also important to maintain your own friendships, I too wonder why some people bother to move in together or get married when they don´t seem to be happy in each other´s company. How wonderful that you so enjoy the time you spend with your wife 🙂

  12. to me, life is all about spending time with those you love

    You’re both so lucky to have a forever friend like that. I’m really envious of the round the world trip! I could cheerfully have followed you from place to place just to see what you ate. 🙂

    1. Ah, thank you Maureen for your lovely comment, I agree wholeheartedly! And if you had followed us around the world, you´d probably have enjoyed seeing all that we ate and drank…that was an important part of the trip for us 😉

  13. Beautiful, beautiful post, Tanya. And such an affirmation of friendship. I’m sure we all just stopped and considered our lives and the friends we have. And what more we could do to let those friends know how special they are to us.

    1. Thanks Diane – those of us lucky enough to have these kind of relationships in our lives are very lucky indeed and we should never take that for granted. I hope I don´t.

  14. Your post was so sweet Tanya, thank you for writing it.
    My best friend is in the US now and we too enjoy and cherich the time we get together
    Best friends are one of life’s most precious gifts

  15. Sounds like a wonderful friendship. I’m with you, I love my friends and they are an important part of having a happy life. My best friend and I have known each for other 20 years. I’m glad you had fun!

  16. I miss my best friend Tara so much. Our lives have gone in different directions, she is now a personal trainer and does triathlons every weekend!! When we meet up about twice a year all we do is laugh. She has been asked to be a bridesmaid at her younger brother’s wedding next year. She is not married yet so it’s the last thing she wants to do especially since her brother is still 14 in her eyes (he’s 28, how did that happen?)! She has been telling me how hideous the bridesmaid dress is she HAS to wear is. I have been reassuring her that it can’t be that bad & that she looks good in anything (she really does). When I went back for my cousins 40th she showed me a picture on her phone of her in the said dress. It IS hideous!! I couldn’t stop myself from howling with laughter & pointing at the screen. It is brown (yes brown) taffeta & it looks like those dresses in fabric shop windows here that are just a piece of material wrapped around the body a few times!! We were both bent double in our chairs laughing uncontrollably, god knows what everyone thought we awere up to, we were having lunch in quite a posh restaurant at the time!! Oh I miss her…

    1. I have a wonderful cousin called Tara who is like a sister to me – there must be something in the name! I can understand how she feels about not wanting to be a bridesmaid in the first place, and as for her brother making her the hideous brown curtain dress….maybe it´s her future sister in law´s way of making sure she is not upstaged by your beautiful friend on the big day!

  17. This post has made my heart ache for one of my closest friends, whom I haven’t seen in months now! It’s such a beautiful and heart warming part of life, having strong friendships that have lasted through the years, through thick and thin, and through pee-in-your-pants laughter and heart wrenching sobs. 🙂

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